Habits for good oral hygiene start early. Teaching your child to care for their teeth while they are young will help them avoid dental problems throughout their lifetime. Sometimes getting your child to want to care for their teeth can be a challenge, so try making it fun. Here are some daily tips, and fun tricks you can use to teach your children how to properly care for their teeth and gums.
Children should brush their teeth twice a day to remove plaque and avoid tooth decay. Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, and a soft-bristled tooth brush. Brush the inside surface of each tooth first, then work towards the outer surfaces of the tooth. Next brush the chewing surface of each tooth, then use the tip of the brush to clean behind each front tooth. Lastly brush the tongue.
- Let your child pick out their own toothbrush
- Use a flavored toothpaste.
- Use a timer and set it for 1 minute. Tell them to brush until time is up.
- Brush along with your kids. Use a step stool so they can watch themselves in the mirror.
- Sing a tooth brushing song.
Children should begin flossing around age 4. Show your child how to floss properly so they don’t hurt their gums. Flossing should be done once a day, which can be a hassle if your child doesn’t like it. A bit of creativity might help your child easily add flossing to their oral hygiene routine.
- Use age appropriate products, like little flossers for toddlers shaped like animals or cartoon characters.
- Give rewards, like stickers each time they floss without fuss.
Encourage your children to eat a healthy diet, while keeping sweets to a minimum. That doesn’t mean your child can’t enjoy a sweet treat, but some creative snack swapping will reduce plaque. Children should have a well-balanced diet with plenty of calcium and phosphorus to promote dental health. Here are some good snack tips.
- Grapes are a tasty, sweet snack that won’t harm teeth.
- Trade cookies for pretzels.
- Include your children in snack preparation, and give them a few options to choose from.